Kansas – The Beating Heart of America

American Bandstand Music in Kansas

Picture this …

After 70 miles of bicycling at an average speed of 15 miles an hour through extreme heat and wind, you finally arrive at your destination: an urban oasis called the supermarket. Within 60 minutes of entering the establishment, you’ve had 3 honestly entertaining conversations with three random people, been invited to spend the night and attend dinner at someone’s home, been invited to attend a drag race for free on Friday night, and had a an extremely nice lady buy you a carton of ice cream simply because you made her laugh.

The place described above actually exists and it is called Kansas. More specifically, I am encoutering this level of friendliness centered around an urban area called Great Bend. There seems to be good vibes eminating from this city to the towns within its sphere of economic influence.

I almost didn’t make it into town actually. After taking the wrong turn by continuing on U.S. Route 50 instead of turning left onto Route 56, I wound up in Macksville, KS, where the friendly attitudes were also deeply rooted into the culture. I met a mechanice named Rick, whom I spoke with for 30 minutes about biking and raising chickens. With his expert local knowledge, he directed me to a small nearby county road that led me directly North and nearly into the heart of my destination, Great Bend! The normally annoying South wind was at my back the entire time and I was able to cover 40 miles in about 1.5 hours. Dear lord, I was moving at an elite pace.

Upon arriving to the city, I booked it to the nearby supermarket to replace my lost calories, whereupon, the onslaught of wonderful people commenced. I met Ray and Jane, who invited me to have dinner with them and stay at there house. Awesome! Accepting their offer, I raced off to their house and had a wonderful meal with them. Afterwards, all three of us headed off to take part in a truly American past time, local bandstand music, which was very good. The night ended with us all fetching some ice cream at a local parlour.

It was great staying with Ray and Jane. Thanks guys!


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